Browsing UA Faculty Research by Journal
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"I'm Scared of the Disappointment": Young Adult Smokers' Relational Identity Gaps and Management Strategies as Sites of Communication InterventionWhile cigarette smoking is decreasing among young adults, rates of nicotine consumption through other devices, most notably electronic cigarettes, are on the rise. Framed by communication theory of identity, this study examines young adult smokers' experiences with relational others in regard to their smoking. Focus group discussions and individual interviews convened with 20 young adult cigarette and electronic cigarette smokers revealed identity gaps implicating the relational layer of identity, including personal-relational, enacted-relational, and personal-enacted-relational identity gaps. Participants used communicative and behavioral strategies to manage relational discrepancies. The documented identity gaps and management strategies present opportunities for targeted smoking cessation interventions that amplify dissonance created through identity gaps as a motivational tactic.
Mixed Messages: II. Outcomes Associated with the Proportion and Placement of Negative Statements in Support MessagesFew studies on emotional support have investigated mixed messages - instances when emotional support messages contain both positive and negative statements. Although researchers have recognized that mixed messages occur, most supportive communication research has ignored these ambivalent messages. We contend based on the negativity bias that the more negative statements that occur in an emotional support message, the less effective the message is. To test this possibility, we presented cancer patients (N = 417) with messages that consisted of 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, or 80% negative statements. Patients rated the messages on five variables: message effectiveness, affective improvement, supporter competence, likelihood to seek future support, and being better off if the supporter had said nothing. A significant positive linear trend occurred for all five variables. The results suggest that the presence and amount of negative statements within an emotional support message has a considerable influence on the recipient's perception of the message and supporter. From a practical standpoint, the results suggest that cancer patients' supporters should act cautiously when communicating negative statements within supportive messages, as even a brief negative statement may cause irreparable damage to the overall quality of a support message.